Man, we played this song to death in my late teens. So many memories of crowding out Mike’s bedroom and having bonfires on Hackney marshes on a Friday night. Ah, the joys of a carefree youth!
On a side note, Cypress Hill were the first band I ever saw live. Aged 13 at the Kentish Town forum, god bless those bouncers who clocked we were all underage but still let us in (even if they did make us all go up on the balcony).
I couldn’t post this without the remix that we used to affectionally call “The Mr Blobby mix” – I prefer it to the original myself…
Shaggy might have the most memorable example of a reggae singer protesting his innocence in a matter of extra-marital affairs; but this 1982 track from Pluto had the jump on him by 19 years, and at least unlike Shaggy he offers the rock solid alibi that it couldn’t have been him as his two hands were “occupied” – with his shirt in the left and his pants in the right. Amazing.
After raiding my old hard drives I found my MP3 collection from 2003 and have been greatly enjoying rediscovering a lot of my old favourite tracks.
To honour some of the gems hidden away in amongst the 12GB I’m going to post them here. I may even write about them; but hey good music speaks for itself no?
Outkast – Stankonia
This album fucking smashes it.
After the riots in London and the UK this week the UK independent music industry has been badly hit due to a fire at a Sony distribution centre in Enfield; PIAS distribution (the biggest indie distributor) had a vast amount of it’s stock there. Many small labels ended up losing their entire stock of CD’s in the fire that was started by teenage looters.
Support these label by buying a digital download from them and help keep the UK independent music scene alive! (links below)
Some reggae related videos to get ready for a sunny weekend.
The first is an oldy but goody – a Jamaican tour guide shows off ‘Bob’s Pillow’. A fine example of the majesty of a Rastafarian laugh.
Next up is a lovely clip of some West Country kids explaining their love of reggae music (I can’t get enough of the little one dancing at the end):
We all know The Harder They Come, but how many know Rockers, the sequel? Starring Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace (sometime drummer for Burning Spear). Originally intended to be a documentary it grew into something much more and is a great depiction of reggae during the glory years of the roots movement of the late 1970′s.
And lastly; the riddim I’m going to be most hyped on at Notting Hill in 3 weeks – matrimony riddim.
Oh OK, I can’t resist…
Paul is a sick beatmaker and producer from South London who is (finally) getting some decent attention from 6Music and the mainstream music press.
I was best mates with Paul back at 6th form and we used to be crazy for finding weird music that was full of feeling; hours spent rewinding through cassette tapes trying to find that particular sonic artifact that had sent shivers down our spines to relay to each other.
Sadly I haven’t seen him for a number of years, funny how you can live in the same city and loose contact with friends.
Listening to his music now he is still embracing leftfield and forgotten music as a creative challenge, making some of the most psychedelic and listenable hip-hop I’ve ever heard. Let’s face it, Anticon are good but not exactly what I’d put on to relax…
He’s getting some decent props too – he’s signed to the UK offshoot of Stone’s Throw, Now-Again to co-release his second album alongside his current label One-Handed Music.
It’s called “The Purple Brain” and it’s ace. Paul was given full access to the back catalogue of Swedish psychedelic rock artist S.T. Mikael, which he uses as his entire source material for this album (Paul’s an old school sample magician).
It reminds me alot of M.F. Doom’s instrumental “Special Herbs” series, dreamy and looped but punctuated with boom-bap, and in Paul’s case trippy, bug out atmospherics.
Diplo’s been showing some love too – he’s put Paul’s remix of Bosco Delray up for free through Mad Decent, which you can get here
Prince Fatty – Shimmy Shimmy Ya ft. Horseman
From “Survival of The Fattest” an album of decent reggae covers. Fyah!
Chapel Club – All The Eastern Girls
Way back when in my early teens when I started getting into ‘alternative’ music I used to read the NME and Melody Maker religiously every week. Something that has always been a key factor for me has been the visuals that musicians use to represent themselves.
Not saying that I’ll like a band just because they have a good album cover despite dreadful music – rather that good design and art direction can hugely boost the enjoyment of an artist.
Being an early teen it was also about identity forming, it helped make bold statements about myself wearing band t-shirts, covering my bedroom wall and schoolbooks with stickers, magazine cut outs, and any other band related paraphernalia.
Steve Gullick was a regular photographer for NME and Melody Maker who, along with Nick Knight, Anton Corbijn, and Stephen Sweet, started to get me really interested in photography as a medium. He is probably most well know for his images of artists such as Nirvana, Nick Cave, and Bjork from the mid-1990′s.
He has continued to be a massive influence on me over the years – especially as he strictly works with film and does all his own printing. As a fully trained colour hand printer I am so in awe of his abilities in the darkroom, and he influenced a lot of my early experiments with an enlarger.
In a world of retouching gone mad he shows that a well taken photograph treated properly with traditional post-production techniques is still a valid commodity. I’d also argue having worked as a retoucher and seen the amount of money spent getting a poor photograph to look anything like a finished product that he is probably more cost effective!
I’m going to end with one of his photos of Kurt Cobain that although not as ‘creative’ as some of his work, is still one of the most iconic images of the Nirvana front man and one that brings back such evocative memories of lying on my bed gazing up at my heroes pasted to my bedroom wall.